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5 Stars Out Of 5
Answers to 40 Supposed Bible Contradictions!
August 21, 2011
Beginning with a brief survey of misconceptions that often lead folks to suppose the Bible is in error, Demolishing Contradictions provides reasonable answers for some 40 challenges to the integrity of Scripture. Contributors to this volume include Bodie Hodge, Gary Vaterlaus, Stacia McKeever, Roger Patterson, Paul F. Taylor, John Upchurch, Steve Fazekas, Dr. Jason Lisle and Dr. Georgia Purdom. This resource is divided in to five sections of questions (Genesis, Exodus through Deuteronomy, Joshua through Malachi, Matthew through John, and Acts through Revelation), which is likely to make it a handy grab-off-the-shelf reference tool.
In all honesty, I actually learned a few things from this resource - and I'm quite nearly a lifelong Bible scholar and preacher of the Gospel. No apologist should be without this handy reference, which in light of 2 Peter 3:15 is to say that no Bible-affirming Christian should neglect to read this material.
One of the things Demolishing Contradictions indirectly highlights is the bankruptcy of the King James Only movement. Like a lot of preachers I know, I'm King James - just not King James Only. As Bodie Hodge and Stacia McKeever note "the idea that one inerrant copy lineage has been passed along is a relatively new idea that, sadly, doesn't take into account the past" (p. 82 emphasis in original). Even the translators of the King James Version noted that translation was necessary, for "without translation into the vulgar tongue, the unlearned are but like children at Jacob's well (which is deep) [John 4:11] without a bucket or something to draw with" [http://www.ccel.org/bible/kjv/preface/pref4.htm]. It is an unfortunate and stubborn fact that the Authorized Version is written in Early Modern English and, as a consequence, the language is becoming increasingly anachronistic. For example, as Demolishing Contradictions alludes to, the KJV translators rendered the word owph in Leviticus 11:13 as "fowls," which makes it seem as if Moses is calling a bat a bird in Leviticus 11:19; as Bodie Hodge notes "owph simply means "to fly" or "has a wing." So the word includes birds, bats, and even flying insects'" (p. 56). One also has to caution modern readers that the word "replenish" in Genesis 1:22 doesn't mean "refill," but rather to "fill." "The English word has changed meaning over the centuries so that the word replenish today generally means Ã¢â¬Ërefill'" (p. 33). By insisting that the Living Word be arbitrarily preserved in an increasingly dead language, the King James Only movement repeats the historical error of the Catholic Church who tried to have the Bible arbitrarily preserved in Latin and forbade translation into "vulgar tongues;" both commit the error of "burying their talent in the sand" when they ought to be multiplying what the Master has given them [Matthew 25]. They also make the Bible increasingly inaccessible to those who need it; it is not those who are well who need a healer but the sick [Mark 2:17] - church folk need to sort out their priorities. The King James needs a faithful update. The Great Commission requires it.
Having said this, I do not want to give the impression that Demolishing Contradictions is an attack on the King James. It is not. As I said, in answering some of these alleged Bible contradictions, the contributors have unavoidably highlighted the issue.
As the back cover reminds us, "With nearly two-thirds of young people leaving the church when they move from home, there has never been a more important time to have reasoned response for those who desire only to undermine your faith_ It is imperative that believers are able to stand firm in their faith, and have answers to the culture's attacks on the Bible." Here's a list of the questions this resource answers:
Ã¢â¬Â¢Was Abel eating meat soon after the Curse when he wasn't supposed to be (Genesis 1:29), since he kept the flocks and sacrificed an animal in Genesis 4:2-4?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Why didn't Adam and Eve die the moment they ate, as Genesis 2:17 implies?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Does Genesis 1 teach the sky was solid?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Why would God tell Adam and Eve to "replenish" the earth in Genesis 1:22 if they were the first humans?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Were Noah's sons born when he was 500 as Genesis 5:32 says or not as stated in Genesis 7:6 and Genesis 11:10?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Why do names of places appear in both the pre-Flood and post-Flood world? Does this refute a global Flood that should have destroyed such places?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Do Genesis 10 and 11 contradict each other about the origins of nations and people groups?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Is Lot Abraham's nephew or his brother?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Do snakes really eat dust like Genesis says?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Do Genesis 1 and 2 give different accounts?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Does Genesis 1:15 say the moon emits its own light?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Is it okay to kill, like David killing Goliath or Joshua eliminating Canaanites? Or is killing forbidden?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Did Moses make an error when he called a bat a bird?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Did Moses say that insects have only four legs?
Ã¢â¬Â¢How could Moses be the author of Deuteronomy when his obituary is listed as the last chapter?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Does God both bless and condemn marriages between close relations?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Can God be seen face to face (Genesis 32:30; Exodus 33:11) or not (Exodus 33:20; John 1:18; 1 John 4:12)?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Does God change His mind?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Could the loving God of the Old Testament order the complete destruction of the inhabitants of Jericho found in the Old Testament?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Was Solomon really going to cut a baby in half?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Does God condone polygamy?
Ã¢â¬Â¢How could Ahaziah be both 22 years old and 42 years old when he started to reign?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Was Jehoiachin set free from prison on the 25th day (Jeremiah 52:31) of the month or the 27th day of the month (2 Kings 25:27)?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Did Matthew (27:9) falsely attribute a prophecy to Jeremiah that came from Zechariah (11:12-13)?
Ã¢â¬Â¢How could the young Samuel have been sleeping in the temple when the temple was not built until much later?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Does the Bible make a mistake in claiming that pi equals 3?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Was Matthew incapable of basic math in his genealogy?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Was Jesus wrong in Matthew 13:31-32 when He said that the mustard seed was the "least of all the seeds"?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Doesn't Jesus contradict Old Testament teachings by not stoning the adulteress, which was commanded?
Ã¢â¬Â¢If Jesus is God's "only begotten Son," then how can angels and Christians also be God's sons?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Did Jesus tell His disciples to take a staff?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Why does Joseph (Jesus' supposed father) have two different fathers listed in Matthew 1:16 and Luke 3:23?
Ã¢â¬Â¢If Jesus is God (John 1; Colossians 1; Hebrews 1; Philippians 2:5-8), then why was the Father greater than Jesus in John 14:28?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Why do the inscriptions on Jesus' Cross differ among the four gospels?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Does the genealogy in Luke 3:36 give an extra Cainan not found in similar genealogies, such as Genesis 11:12?
Ã¢â¬Â¢If Jesus was to be in the grave three days and three nights, how do we fit those between Good Friday and Easter Sunday?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Why was Rahab praised for lying in James 2:25 when lying is forbidden in the Ten Commandments?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Did Judas Iscariot die by hanging (Matthew 27:5) or did he die by falling and bursting open (Acts 1:18)?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Can all sins be forgiven (Acts 13:39; Titus 2:14; 1 John 1:9) or not (Matthew 12:31; Mark 3:29; Luke 12:10)?
Ã¢â¬Â¢How could Jesus be the Creator (John 1:1-3) if He was the firstborn of all creation (Colossians 1:15)?
Ã¢â¬Â¢Can man be held accountable for his sinful actions, and yet have Christ act as a substitute for his sins?
If you don't know the Bible-affirming answers to these questions, you should by this book, because there are answers to all of these alleged Bible contradictions. Bodie Hodge sums it up nicely: "I suggest that many non-Christians want the Bible to be full of contradictions so that it gives them a form of justification for rejecting God. In short, they don't want God to be God, so they don't have to be accountable to Him_ [I]n trying to justify themselves, they try to attack God and His Word with alleged contradictions_, [yet] such allegations seem to Ã¢â¬Ëevaporate into thin air Ã¢â¬Ë when one looks at the text logically, in context, and so on" (p. 132-33). We need to get these answers to an unbelieving world because as Jesus warned, if we can't trust His Word when it speaks of earthly things, how could we trust it when it speaks of spiritual things [John 3:12]? Fortunately, as Demolishing Contradictions demonstrates, "the Bible stands solidly when faced with alleged Bible contradictions, and then logically it stands solidly in its pronouncement of the Gospel."
"Demolishing Supposed Bible Contradictions" is an excellent, true-to-the-Bible, resource for Christians seeking to grow in Bible knowledge, deepen their faith in the truth of God's Holy Word, encourage other Christians, teach their children or reach out to the confused or the lost.
If part of the Bible isn't true, then none of it is true. We can be assured of this because, by His very nature, God cannot lie. Therein lies the importance of this work. Ken Ham has delved into oft-asked questions about supposed contradictions in the Scriptures and has answered them soundly, wisely and well. Whether you are curious about how Judas really died, if Noah confused a bat for a bird or how old Ahaziah when he began his reign, this is the book for you.
One of the lovely qualities of this book is its gentle sense of humor: the chapters have titles like "As Easy as Pi", "Bats of a Feather" and "Dead Man Writing"; another is that it is easy to understand. More important, however, is that it is true to Scripture. Ken Ham holds God and His Word in high esteem and it shows in his careful examination of the texts he explores.
Something I find extremely valuable about this book is the way that it so deftly handles the matter of Christ's deity and His humanity. Ken Ham gives us the tools we need to fight against the view that Jesus is inferior to His Father (He was inferior only in His human form; in His deity, He is equal).
This book is a worthwhile read and a very welcomed and valuable resource. For this homeschooling Mom, it has earned an honored spot on our bookcase and will be referred to often. On the cover, this book says it is "Volume 1"; I'll be waiting expectantly for "Volume 2".
I received a free copy of this book from New Leaf Publishing for purposes of review. I was not required to give a positive review only a fair and honest one.
Yet another excellent publication coming from Answers in Genesis. This book goes through the Bible and refutes various claims of contradictions. There have been numerous books like this (for example: When Critics Ask by Norm Geisler and Thomas Howe or Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties by Gleason Archer just to name a few) but what sets this book apart from the others is that other similar works too often look for the easiest answer or simply a way to sweep the issue under the rug. This book does a far better job of really understanding the true meaning of the text and not just present the most convenient interpretation. The only draw back is that it is rather small so it doesn't touch on as many verses as some of the other larger works. However, this book is only volume one so more will be addressed in the following books. This will certainly turn out to be an outstanding series of books that should be owned by every lay-apologist.
"Demolishing Supposed Bible Contradictions" is a collection of articles written by various people explaining why various alleged contradictions in the Bible aren't actual contradictions. Dr. Jason Lisle started the book out with an article explaining what, exactly, a contradiction is. He also explained the general categories these alleged contradictions fell into and why these categories aren't true contradictions (like the word is used in a difference sense in different places or the dilemma wasn't an either/or but both are possible). This will help the reader identify the problems with and know how to respond to alleged contradictions even if they're not specifically answered in this book.
After that, various authors took turns explaining how this applied to a variety of specific examples. The arguments were easy to follow and well-written. I'd highly recommend this book, especially to anyone who has been asked about (or wondered about) apparent contradictions in the Bible and didn't know the answer.
The alleged contradictions that were specifically covered were:
* If Abel kept flocks, did he eat meat?
* Why didn't Adam and Eve die immediately in Gen 2:17?
* Does Genesis 1 teach the sky is solid ("firmament" in KJV)?
* Does Genesis 1:22 imply a first creation and then a second re-creation ("replenish" in KJV)?
* Were Noah's sons triplets born when Noah was 500 or were they born several years apart?
* Why are some location-names the same before & after the Flood if the locations no longer existed?
* Do Genesis 10 & 11 contradict each other about the origin of the post-Flood nations?
* Was Lot Abraham's nephew or brother?
* Do snakes really eat dust like Genesis 3:14 says?
* Are Genesis 1 and 2 different, conflicting creation accounts?
* Does Genesis 1:15 say that the moon emits its own light?
* Is it okay to kill or did God forbid it?
* Did Moses really call a bat a bird?
* Did Moses say that insects have only four legs?
* How could Moses be the author of Deuteronomy when his obituary is listed as the last chapter?
* Does God bless or condemn marriages between close relations?
* Can God be seen face to face or not?
* Does God change his mind?
* If God is loving, how could he order the complete destruction of the inhabitants of Jericho?
* Was Solomon really going to cut the baby in half?
* Does God condone polygamy or not?
* How could Ahaziah be both 22 years old and 42 years old when he started to reign?
* Was Jehoiachin set free from prison on the 25th day or 27th day?
* Did Matthew falsely attribute a prophecy to Jeremiah that came from Zechariah?
* How could the young Samuel have been sleeping in the temple when the temple was not built until much later?
* Does the Bible incorrectly claim that pi equals 3?
* Was Matthew incorrectly counting in Matthew 1:17 when he summarized Christ's genealogy?
* Was Jesus wrong in Matthew 13:31-32 when he said that the mustard seed was the smallest seed?
* Didn't Jesus contradict Old Testament law by not stoning the adulteress?
* How can Jesus be God's "only begotten son" when angels and Christians are also called God's sons?
* Did Jesus tell His disciples to take a staff or not?
* Was Joseph's father named Jeconiah or Heli?
* Is Jesus lesser than or equal to God the Father?
* Why do the inscriptions on Jesus' cross differ among the four gospels?
* Why does the genealogy in Luke 3:36 give an extra Cainan not found in similar genealogies, such as Genesis 11:12?
* If Jesus was to be in the grave three days and nights, how does that fit between Good Friday and Easter Sunday?
* Is lying okay or not?
* How did Judas die--by hanging or falling into a field?
* Can all sins be forgiven or not?
* How could Jesus be the Creator if He was the firstborn of all creation?
* Can man be held accountable for his sinful actions and yet have Christ act as substitute for his sins?
I received this book as a review copy from the publisher.